LONDON - King Charles III leads a procession of the coffin of his mother Queen Elizabeth II through London on Wednesday before hundreds of thousands of people pay their final respects.

Six days after her death in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth’s body will be borne on a horse-drawn gun carriage from her Buckingham Palace home to Westminster Hall where she will remain for four days until her funeral next Monday.

The king and other senior royals are expected to walk in silence behind the hearse as it winds through the capital’s streets and then hold a vigil upon its arrival at the cavernous 12th-century hall in the Westminster parliament complex. 

The public will be let in from 5:00 pm (1600 GMT), with mourners already warned they will face an endurance test in round-the-clock queues that could snake back up to five miles (eight kilometres).

“It’s going to be emotional and I don’t know how I’ll feel going in there as the first one,” said Vanessa Nanthakumaran, a 56-year-old administration assistant originally from Sri Lanka, who took her place at the head of the queue on Monday evening.

“It’s our duty to say thank you. It’s going to be prayers from the heart. It’s going to be very sombre, quiet and overwhelming.”

Strict rules and airport-style security measures have been put in place, with “far more” people expected than the 200,000 who filed past the coffin of the queen’s mother when she died in 2002, according to Prime Minister Liz Truss’s spokesman.

The government has advised people to wear “suitable clothing” and to bring portable battery packs to keep their mobile phones charged -- an indication that some people will need to wait overnight for a glimpse of the casket.